On the 1st of May, Cook Brothers Construction's very own Mark Basson, Southern Lakes carpenter and FENZ volunteer, attempted to break the Guinness World Record to run the fastest half marathon (21.1kms) in full firefighting gear, including breathing apparatus. With the gear weighing in at over 23kgs, it was a true test of endurance, determination and strength.
Mark's goal was to break the current world record of 3 hours, 20 minutes and 40 seconds. He ran from the Cardrona Valley and came into the Wanaka township in just over 3 hours and 36 minutes. Even though this wasn't the result Mark was hoping for; it is still a massive achievement.
Despite the finishing time, Mark has achieved something far greater, sharing his purpose for this run, raising funds for Mental Health New Zealand. Mark hopes that following his example, others will be inspired to take the opportunity to reach out and talk to someone.
He reflects, "there is that stigma, especially with males that you're too much of a man to want to talk about it. I was one of those men. I was a man's man, and to be able to go to talk to someone was really hard. But it has literally made the world of difference. So I would like more people just to go out and talk".
An incredible demonstration of strength and determination, Mark's story is a reminder for us to stop, talk and check in on our mates. It's time we stop that 'tough guy' culture and start talking and encourage people to ask for help.
We are incredibly proud of Mark's efforts, not only for his run but also for sharing his personal story and encouraging us to speak about mental health. Congratulations Mark! You are a true inspiration to your team and whānau.
Watch his story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFaMKPJ4yB4